V is for Virgin by Kelly Oram is sweet and cute with an empowering message that doesn’t seem preachy. It’s light and funny at times but also makes you think. What starts out as a girl standing up for herself and her beliefs turns into something bigger than she ever imagined.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
The reason this book caught my eye is that the premise reminded me of Audrey, Wait, another book where a bad breakup spirals into unexpected fame. In V is for Virgin, Val and her boyfriend breakup when she tells him she won’t have sex before marriage. Once he starts talking about her at school, Val stands up for herself in a big public spectacle that becomes a YouTube sensation. Her message strikes a chord with teens everywhere and Val becomes “Virgin Val” the new spokesperson for abstinence. In a strange twist, a rock star becomes infatuated with Val and sees her as the ultimate challenge. He even writes a song about Val that climbs the pop charts. Can Val hold tight to her beliefs when the “sexiest man alive” is chasing her?
Val has her reasons for wanting to remain a virgin, though she never planned to voice her decision in such a public forum. The way I read it is that it could be about any personal choice, and that it’s important to do what’s right for you and think for yourself. Val never expects anyone to agree with her choice but when she sees that some of the popular crowd are on her side it’s a pleasant surprise. Val is pretty brave and determined and uses her strengths to help others in the same predicament.
Val’s breakup fallout becomes bigger than her, and the over the top scenarios that occur afterwards bring humor to the book. Paparazzi chase her, fans of Kyle the rock star berate her on behalf of Kyle, and damaging photos surface in tabloid magazines- all are part of Val’s new life in the spotlight. I did root for Kyle even though on paper he seems like he’s all wrong for Val. He does seem like a good guy under the surface, charming and someone who wants to be a better person.
I like the girl power message of the book and think it’s a good mother-daughter book to read. It’s a relatable and relevant topic presented with a light touch. I clicked with this book right away and I’m eager to read more from Kelly Oram. V is for Virgin is available on e-book now for $3.99.
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